« PoprzedniaDalej »
We say that learning’s endless, and blame Fate
For not allowing life a longer date:
He did the utmost bounds of knowledge find,
He found them not so large as was his mind;
But, like the brave Pellaean youth, did moan
Because that art had no more worlds than one;
And, when he saw that he through all had past,
He dy'd, lest he should idle grow at last.
HENCE, and make room for me, all you who come
Only to read the epitaph on this tomb
Here lies the master of my tender years,
The guardian of my parents' hope and fears;
Whose government ne'er stood me in a tear;
All weeping was reserv'd to spend it here.
Come hither, all who his rare virtues knew,
And mourn with me: he was your tutor too.
Let's join our sighs, till they fly far, and shew
His native Belgia what she’s now to do.
The league of grief bids her with us lament;
By her he was brought forth, and hither sent
In payment of all men we there had lost,
And all the English blood those wars have cost.
Wisely did Nature this learn'd man divide;
His birth was theirs, his death the mournful pride
Of England; and, t’avoid the envious strife
Of other lands, all Europe had his life,
But we in chief; our country soon was grown
A debtor more to him, than he to's own.
He pluckt from youth the follies and the crimes,
And built up men against the future times;
For deeds of age are in their causes then,
And though he taught but boys, he made the men.
Hence ’t was a master, in those ancient days
When men sought knowledge first, and by it praise,
Was a thing full of reverence, profit, fame;
Father itself was but a second name.
He scorn'd the profit; his instructions all
Were, like the science, free and liberal.
He deserv’d honours, but despis’d them too,
As much as those who have them others do.
He knew not that which compliment they call;
Could flatter none, but himself least of all. -
So true, so faithful, and so just, as he
Was nought on earth but his own memory;
His memory, where all things written were,
As sure and fixt as in Fate's books they are.
Thus he in arts so vast a treasure gain'd,
Whilst still the use came in, and stock remain'd:
And, having purchas'd all that man can know,
He labour'd with’t to enrich others now;
Did thus a new and harder task sustain,
Like those that work in mines for others' gain :
He, though more nobly, had much more to do,
To search the vein, dig, purge, and mint it too.
Though my excuse would be, I must confess,
Much better had his diligence been less;
But, if a Muse hereafter smile on me,
And say, “Be thou a poet!” men shall see
That none could a more grateful scholar have;
For what I ow’d his life I’ll pay his grave.
HIS MAJESTY'S RETURN OUT OF SCOTLAND.
WELCOME, great Sir! with all the joy that's due
To the return of peace and you ;
Two greatest blessings which this age can know !
For that to Thee, for thee to Heaven we owe.
Others by war their conquests gain,
You like a God your ends obtain;
Who, when rude Chaos for his help did call,
Spoke but the word, and sweetly order'd all.
This happy concord in no blood is writ,
None can grudge Heaven full thanks for it:
No mothers here lament their children's fate,
And like the peace, but think it comes too late.
No widows hear the jocund bells,
And take them for their husbands' knells: .
No drop of blood is spilt, which might be said
To mark our joyful holiday with red.
"T was only Heaven could work this wondrous thing,
And only work’t by such a king.
Again the northern hinds may sing and plough,
And fear no harm but from the weather now ;
Again may tradesmen love their pain,
By knowing now for whom they gain;
The armour now may be hung up to sight,
And only in their halls the children fright.
The gain of civil wars will not allow
Bay to the conqueror's brow:
At such a game what fool would venture in,
Where one must lose, yet neither side can win
How justly would our neighbours smile
At these mad quarrels of our isle;
Swell'd with proud hopes to snatch the whole away,
Whilst we bett all, and yet for nothing play!
How was the silver Tine frighted before,
And durst not kiss the armed shore 1
His waters ran more swiftly than they use,
And hasted to the sea to tell the news:
The sea itself, how rough soe'er,
Could scarce believe such fury here.
How could the Scots and we be enemies grown 2
That, and its master Charles, had made us one.
No blood so loud as that of civil war:
It calls for dangers from afar.
Let's rather go and seek out them and fame;
Thus our fore-fathers got, thus left, a name:
All their rich blood was spent with gains,
But that which swells their children's veins.
Why sit we still, our spirits wrapt in lead
Not like them whilst they liv'd, but now they're dead.
The noise at home was but Fate's policy,
To raise our spirits more high:
So a bold lion, ere he seeks his prey,
Lashes his sides and roars, and then away.
How would the German Eagle fear
To see a new Gustavus there !
How would it shake, though as’t was wont to do
For Jove of old, it now bore thunder too !
Sure there are actions of this height and praise
Destin'd to Charles's days!
What will the triumphs of his battles be,
Whose very peace itself is victory !
When Heaven bestows the best of kings,
It bids us think of mighty things:
His valour, wisdom, offspring, speak no less;
And we, the prophets' sons, write not by guess.